Aseptic Culture Systems of Radopholus similis for In Vitro Assays on Musa spp. and Arabidopsis thaliana


  • A. Elsen


alfalfa callus, arabidopsis thaliana, burrowing nematode, medicago sativa, method, musa (aaa), nematode, radopholus similis


Radopholus similis is one of the most damaging nematodes in bananas. Chemical control is currently the most-used method, but nematode control through genetic improvement is widely encouraged. The objective of this study was to establish an aseptic culture system for R. similis and determine whether R. similis can infect and reproduce on in vitro banana plantlets and in vitro Arabidopsis thaliana. In the study's first part, a suitable aseptic culture system was developed using alfalfa callus. Radopholus similis could penetrate and reproduce in the callus. Six weeks after inoculation with 25 females, the reproduction ratio was 26.3 and all vermiform stages were present. The reproduction ratio increased to 223.2 after 12 weeks. Results of a greenhouse test showed that R. similis did not lose its pathogenicity after culturing on alfalfa callus. In the study's second part, the infection and reproduction of the nematodes cultured on the callus were studied on both in vitro banana plantlets and A. thaliana. Radopholus similis infected and reproduced on both banana and A. thaliana. Furthermore, nematode damage was observed in the root systems of both hosts. These successful infections open new perspectives for rapid in vitro screening for resistance in banana cultivars and anti-nematode proteins expressed in A. thaliana.